“Unsquare Dance” in Silver Linings Playbook

I’m showing Silver Linings Playbook in one of my classes this week, and for the first time I really thought about how interesting it is that Dave Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance” is the song playing as Tiffany walks out to meet Pat for their first date. (Well, maybe not a “date” after all, as Pat orders raisin bran 🙂 )

Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance” has a 7/4 time signature, which makes the beat very unsettled, kind of asymmetrical and off-kilter. For Pat, who is attracted to Tiffany while still wrongly convinced he’s in love with his ex-wife Nikki, this moment is full of import. He is most definitely off-balance and perched unsteadily at the edge of this new relationship opportunity.

Anyway, I wanted to double check the time signature, went to Wikipedia’s entry, and then happened upon a wonderful video of a talented duo dancing to this exuberant song. Looks like it must have aired on television in the early 1960s. You know, if programming like this were the norm today, I’d watch a lot more television. Enjoy!

UPDATE (August 25, 2022): The YouTube clip is gone, but I found the video on Facebook. Here’s the link.😀


And as long as I’m updating this post, here’s a clip from another amazing movie, Baby Driver, that also uses “Unsquare Dance” to excellent effect.

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
This entry was posted in Movies and film, Music, Popular culture, Television and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “Unsquare Dance” in Silver Linings Playbook

  1. Not many entertainers dance like that any more. Now, that’s dancing!!!


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